Is child development evolving because of technology?


One of the reasons for making a third edition of the DMG was to add an updated technology section.  In 2006 when the first edition was started and in 2007 for the second edition, keyboarding was really the only skill a child was using in the area of technology.  In 2007 texting had just surpassed phone calls but that was mainly with adults.  The first tablet did not come along until 2010. Until that point, touch screens were available in some schools but this was typically for those who could not access a keyboard.

Now it is not uncommon to see very young babies playing (touching and watching) with tablets and smart phones.  Now the very young are exposed to technology in a way that changes how they play and learn.  Children can drag their finger along a slick screen with their finger to make a vertical line. They can move animated puzzle pieces along this same slick screen or click and drag over pieces to assemble a puzzle. Previously, the only way to put a puzzle together was to feel the pieces, explore the inset area that it goes into and use trial and error to place. Of course with some programs if you get close enough to the “inset” area, the piece will get sucked into it without any frustration or need for trial and error.

How important is it to hold a tool as you write or have the kinesthetic feedback of paper to learn writing?  Pre-historic man used bones to write and I am pretty sure the surface they drew on had kinesthetic feedback.  I guess only time will tell how this sudden explosion of technology in the last generation will affect development of basic motor and exploratory skills.  I can already see that we have no need to remember lots of information when it is right at your fingertips.  Just remember where you leave your smart phone.